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16 March - 16 May 2011
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
President of Sharjah Art Foundation: Hoor Al Qasimi
Director of Sharjah Art Foundation: Jack Persekian
Curators: Suzanne Cotter, Rasha Salti
Associate curator: Haig Aivazian
More than 100 participants.
74 participants in the exhibition
Visual tour - 63 participants
approx. 180 photos with information
Curated by Suzanne Cotter and Rasha Salti, with Associate Curator Haig Aivazian (biographies), Sharjah Biennial 10 Plot for a Biennial is a multifaceted presentation of works and programs, spanning the disciplines of visual art, film, choreography, music, video and publishing, including more than 65 Sharjah Biennial Commissions.
Plot for a Biennial takes as its curatorial narrative the idea of a treatment for film, ‘scripted’ around a constellation of keywords that include Treason, Necessity, Insurrection, Affiliation, Corruption, Devotion, Disclosure, Translation. These terms operate as motifs and serve to frame explorations in both subject matter and aesthetic positions. Among the central themes is the assertion of individual subjectivity within the realms of culture, religion and statehood. Equally central are questions around the aesthetics of art as seduction and formal dissidence, and the production and communicability of art as both dubious and potentially transformative. Located within a web of etymological tracings, the concept of treason, a word that shares its Latin roots with trade and translation, provides multiple registers of interpretation, from betrayal to trade and translation, the latter being activities central to the economy, history and culture of Sharjah.
Drawing inspiration from the curators’ conceptual framework Plot for a Biennial, the exhibition will unfold in intriguing venues across the heart of Sharjah, including notable landmarks of Emirati architecture, Sharjah’s historic Cricket Stadium, traditional houses once abandoned and later converted into contemporary art spaces, as well as new temporary structures designed especially for Sharjah Biennial 10.
(From the curatorial statement and other press information)
Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst, and producer of contemporary art within the Emirate of Sharjah and the surrounding region, in dialogue with the international arts community. Under the leadership of founder Hoor Al Qasimi, a curator and artist, the foundation advances an experimental and wide-ranging programmatic model that supports the production and presentation of contemporary art, preserves and celebrates the distinct culture of the region, and encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art.
The foundation’s core initiatives include the long-running Sharjah Biennial, featuring contemporary artists from around the world; the annual March Meeting, a convening of international arts professionals and artists; grants and residencies for artists, curators, and cultural producers; ambitious and experimental commissions; and a range of travelling exhibitions and scholarly publications.
Established in 2009 to expand programmes beyond the Sharjah Biennial, which launched in 1993, the foundation is a critical resource for artists and cultural organisations in the Gulf and a conduit for local, regional, and international developments in contemporary art.
The foundation’s deep commitment to developing and sustaining the cultural life and heritage of Sharjah is reflected through year-round exhibitions, performances, screenings and educational programmes in the city of Sharjah and across the Emirate, often hosted in historic buildings that have been repurposed as cultural and community centres.
A growing collection reflects the foundation’s support of contemporary artists in the realisation of new work and its recognition of the contributions made by pioneering modern artists from the region and around the world.
Sharjah Art Foundation is a legally independent public body established by Emiri Decree and supported by government funding, grants from national and international nonprofits and cultural organisations, corporate sponsors, and individual patrons. All events are free and open to the public.
Sharjah is the third-largest of the seven United Arab Emirates, and the only one bridging the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Reflecting the deep commitment to the arts, architectural preservation, and cultural education embraced by its ruler, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Sharjah is home to more than 20 museums and has long been known as a hub of culture in the United Arab Emirates. In 1998, it was named UNESCO's “Arab Capital of Culture” and was designated the UNESCO “World Book Capital” for the year 2019.
Cover photo on top: Slavs and Tatars, Friendship of Nations, 2011. Bait Al Hurma, Heritage Area West.
© Photos: Universes in Universe, unless otherwise indicated